Note to Self: "Data Science" as an Ephemeral Term:There was a time—perhaps a century, maybe a bit more, certainly not much less—ago, when the high-tech bleeding edge electricity sector was an important but discrete part of the "economy".
Note to Self: "Data Science" as an Ephemeral Term:There was a time—perhaps a century, maybe a bit more, certainly not much less—ago, when the high-tech bleeding edge electricity sector was an important but discrete part of the "economy".
Hoisted from 2001: Information Technology and the Future of Society (My Bekeley CITRIS Kickoff Talk) http://www.j-bradford-delong.net/TotW/citris_kickoff.html: For perhaps 9000 years after the beginnings of agriculture the overwhelming proportion of human work lives were spent making things: growing crops, shearing sheep, spinning yarn, weaving cloth, throwing pots, cutting down trees, copying books, and so on, and so forth.
Live from the End of the Slavery Rebellion: U.S. Grant: At Appomattox http://delong.typepad.com/sdj/2010/04/confederate-history-month-grant-at-apomattox.html:
My own feelings... were sad and depressed. I felt like anything rather than rejoicing at the downfall of a foe who had fought so long and valiantly, and had suffered so much for a cause, though that cause was, I believe, one of the worst for which a people ever fought, and one for which there was the least excuse...
Vachel Lindsay Stephen Vincent Benet: Army of Northern Virginia (From John Brown's Body) http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks07/0700461.txt:
The cold. The mud. The bleak wonder.
The weakening sickness--the weevils tainting the bread--
We were beaten again in spite of all we could do.
We don't know what went wrong but something went wrong.
When will we find a man who can really lead us?
When will we not be wasted without success?
Vachel Lindsay Stephen Vincent Benet: From John Brown's Body http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks07/0700461.txt:
The horses, burning-hooved, drove on toward the sea,
But, where they had passed, the air was troubled and sick
Like earth that the shoulder of earthquake heavily stirs.
There was a whisper moving that air all night,
A whisper that cried and whimpered about the house
Where John Brown prayed to his God, by his narrow bed.
Live from "My Kronstadt was the Dissolution of the Constituent Assembly": WTF, Tony Barber?! The "masses" did not "seize the initiative" in 1917. The Bolshevik Faction of the RSDP did. The "masses" were, as Lenin said, vacillating, and needed to be led by the halter and driven by the knout:
Let's give the mic first to Comrade Ulyanov:
Vladimir Lenin: The Constituent Assembly Elections and the Dictatorship of the Proletariat https://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1919/dec/16.htm: "The Socialist-Revolutionaries and the Mensheviks formed a bloc during the whole period of the revolution from February to October 1917...
Gavin Wright: Review of "Slavery’s Capitalism: A New History of American Economic Development": https://eh.net/book_reviews/slaverys-capitalism-a-new-history-of-american-economic-development/
Stephanie McCurry: Slavery and economics http://www.the-tls.co.uk/articles/private/slavery-economics/
Hoisted from the Archives: More Dred Scott v. Sanford Blogging for 2007's Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday Weekend! http://www.bradford-delong.com/2007/01/more_dred_scott.html: Mark Graber has gotten himself to the right of John C. Calhoun. This is a position painful and ludicrous for a twenty-first-century American legal academic to assume.
It is a position so painful and ludicrous that it should induce any twenty-first-century American academic to undertake an agonizing reappraisal—particularly over Martin Luther King holiday weekend. But Mark Graber doesn't. Let's turn the mike over to him:
August 05, 2017 at 10:27 AM in Berkeley, Economics: History, Economics: Inequality, History, Moral Responsibility, Philosophy: Moral, Political Economy, Politics, Streams: (Tuesday) Hoisted from Archives, Streams: Cycle, Streams: Economics, Streams: Equitable Growth, Streams: Highlighted | Permalink | Comments (0)
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Dean Acheson: A Democrat Looks at His Party: "From Dean G. Acheson: "At the end of the [nineteenth] century there was a lesser, but serious, missed opportunity... http://www.bradford-delong.com/2007/07/dean-acheson-on.html
When I read this by David Glasner, I wonder whether the shift in Hayek's beliefs between the 1930s and the 1980s was an improvement. In the 1930s, he believed in big depressions—"secondary deflation"—as a way of breaking "nominal rigidities", which I understand as the power of labor to resist being forced to accept declines in real wage rates. By the 1980s, he seemed to believe in shooting people like me in soccer stadiums, and throwing them out of helicopters into the South Atlantic. See: Pinochet, Augusto
David Glasner: Hayek, Deflation and Nihilism: "Hayek argued that... neutral money was... constant total spending (MV)... https://uneasymoney.com/2017/07/23/hayek-deflation-and-nihilism/
...Once the downturn started to accelerate, causing aggregate spending to decline by 50% between 1929 and 1933, Hayek, totally disregarding his own neutral-money criterion, uttered not a single word in protest of a monetary policy that was in flagrant violation of his own neutral money criterion. On the contrary, Hayek wrote an impassioned defense of the insane gold accumulation policy of the Bank of France, which along with the US Federal Reserve was chiefly responsible for the decline in aggregate spending.... Hayek’s policy advice was... relentlessly pro-deflation. Why did Hayek offer policy advice so blatantly contradicted by his own neutral-money criterion?...
I was never able to get anybody interested in publishing this when I wrote it and shopped it around ten years ago. I do wonder why: it is, I think, rather important...
After the Next Nuclear Fire... http://www.bradford-delong.com/2007/07/after-the-next-.html: In the early 1980s the U.S. NSA--or perhaps it was the Defense Department--loved to play games with Russian air defense. They would send probe planes in from the Pacific to fly over Siberia. And they would watch and listen: Where were the gaps in Russian sensor coverage? How far could U.S. planes penetrate before being spotted? What were Russian command-and-control procedures to intercept intruders?
The puzzle about just how and why the brain eater ate Clive Crook's brain—how it was that, starting about a decade ago, one of the most interesting (and intelligent) of the Tories simply lost his grip on reality—remains, to me at least, a mystery.
Here I am hoisting from one of the first full-blown signs of it in 2007.
A little background: By 2008 the brain-eating was overwhelming. For example we had Clive Crook on the "huge success" of the nomination of Sarah Palin—meaning, that is, that she was highly qualified to be Vice President and would attract lots of new votes to the McCain-Palin ticket:
Clive Crook (2008): Democrats must learn some respect: "The problem in my view is less Mr Obama and more the attitudes of the claque of official and unofficial supporters that surrounds him... https://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2008/09/democrats-must-learn-some-respect/8803/
July 21, 2017 at 07:38 AM in Economics: Growth, Economics: History, Economics: Inequality, History, Moral Responsibility, Obama Administration, Philosophy: Moral, Political Economy, Politics, Science: Cognitive, Streams: (Tuesday) Hoisted from Archives, Streams: Cycle, Streams: Economics, Streams: Equitable Growth, Streams: Highlighted | Permalink | Comments (1)
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John Maynard Keynes: John Maynard Keynes was brought up a classical liberal and a classical economist. He believed in free trade, economic progress, cultural uplift, and political reason. He then found himself working for the British Treasury during World War I, unable to stop what he thought were disastrous post-World War I political decisions. He then found himself watching as the classical economic mechanisms he had been taught to admire all fell apart.
He then picked himself up.
After World War I Keynes used what power he had to—don't laugh—try to restore civilization.
Will the "Dunkirk" movie be any good? I cannot say that I am optimistic. But if you want to understand the bigger picture, here is my take on it:
From: My Very Short Take on World War II... http://www.bradford-delong.com/2017/01/my-very-short-take-on-world-war-ii-hoisted-from-the-archives.html: How are we to understand World War II? One way is to take a look at the first three major campaigns—the Polish campaign of September 1939, the French campaign of May-June 1940, and the first six months of the Russian campaign from June 22 to the end of 1941.
In the 1939 Polish campaign, the Nazis lost 40,000 soldiers killed and wounded. The Poles lost 200,000 killed and wounded. The Poles also lost about 1,000,000 taken prisoner.
In the 1940 French campaign, the Nazis lost 160,000 soldiers killed and wounded. The allies lost 360,000 soldiers killed and wounded. And the allies also lost 2,000,000 soldiers taken prisoner.
Hoisted from Ten Years Ago: Europe's Post-World War I Crisis Through the Lens of the Life of John Maynard Keynes http://delong.typepad.com/sdj/2007/09/lecture-notes-f.html?asset_id=6a00e551f08003883400e552211a228833: World War I makes it impossible to be a liberal believer in progress, peace, rationality, equilibrium, the benevolence of the market, the triumph of reasoned discussion, et cetera.
So what do you do?
The answer is "managerialism." Muddling through. Trying desperately to somehow cobble together something like pre-WWI liberalism—to make it true in practice even though it isn't true in theory, and to do so somehow.
Joshua Micah Marshall (2002): "I really, really, really want to recommend a book to you. It's called Strange Victory: Hitler's Conquest of France and it's by Ernest R. May, a highly respected diplomatic historian... https://web.archive.org/web/20040209000732/http://talkingpointsmemo.com/archives/week_2002_05_12.html
...There are two reasons why this book is so good. The first is that it is just a marvelously engrossing narrative of one of the most pivotal moments of the 20th Century: the lead-up to the Second World War and particularly Hitler's lightning victory over France in May and June of 1940. It's just a very polished, compelling World War Two book and a very good read.
China and Economic Growth: Hoisted from the Archives (What I Am Thinking About Right Now Department) http://www.bradford-delong.com/2007/07/china-and-econo.html: Hoisted from the archives: http://delong.typepad.com/sdj/2006/01/china_and_econo.html: A somewhat different take on Ben Friedman's Moral Consequences of Economic Growth than the review I wrote for Harvard Magazine. Written for Caijing:
Is it me? Or is it him?
I find an interesting link on Making Light http://nielsenhayden.com/makinglight/archives/016593.html, follow it, immediately find that the introduction annoys me—gets my back up—and then I notice that it is by John McWhorter. Other people like McWhorter a lot: http://nielsenhayden.com/makinglight/archives/016593.html#4335396.
But I read:
John McWhorter: English is not normal https://aeon.co/essays/why-is-english-so-weirdly-different-from-other-languages: "Hwæt, we gardena in geardagum þeodcyninga þrym gefrunon...
...does that really mean ‘So, we Spear-Danes have heard of the tribe-kings’ glory in days of yore’? Icelanders can still read similar stories written in the Old Norse ancestor of their language 1,000 years ago, and yet, to the untrained eye, Beowulf might as well be in Turkish...
And my immediate response is: the cards have been dealt from the bottom of the deck here.
Hoisted from the 2007 Archives: Wow! I had no clue in mid-2007 what was about to come down.
I had no idea of how the money-center universal banks had exposed themselves to housing derivatives, how strongly the right-wing noise machine would lobby against the Federal Reserve's undertaking its proper lender-of-last-resort job, or how hesitant and ineffective the Federal Reserve would turn out to be in the summer and fall of 2008:
We remember the right-wing slime machine's opposition to the confirmation of Justice Sotomayor because she had excessive "empathy": Here we have The Wall Street Journal, The Economist, Time, and the truly execrable Atlantic, the printing presses of which should melt in a fire.
A higher authority—YHWH—weighs in:
Hoisted from Other People's Archives: YHWH: 1 Kings 3 KJV: "And Solomon said...
...Thou hast shewed unto thy servant David my father great mercy, according as he walked before thee in truth, and in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart with thee; and thou hast kept for him this great kindness, that thou hast given him a son to sit on his throne, as it is this day.
Wikipedia: Case Blue https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Case_Blue: "The German offensive commenced on 28 June 1942, with Fourth Panzer Army starting its drive towards Voronezh...
I think the answer is "probably". I think he is probably not feigning. I think he probably has no clue of what goes down at the Finland Station.
At the Finland Station, you see, elections are fine only as long as they produce socialist results. When push comes to shove, it is indeed the case at the Finland Station that, as Lenin wrote: "Every direct or indirect attempt to consider the question of the [election] from a formal, legal point of view, within the framework of ordinary bourgeois democracy and disregarding the class struggle and civil war, would be a betrayal..." Sunkar can see this not as the act of "crazed demons", and instead choose—and it is a choice—to see Lenin and company as "well-intentioned people trying to build a better world out of a crisis". But on-the-ground really-existing "ordinary bourgeois democracy" is and always has been of little value to Lenin's flavor of socialists.
Weekend Reading: Aristotle: Politics: Property and Wealth: "Let us first speak of master and slave, looking to the needs of practical life and also seeking to attain some better theory of their relation than exists at present... http://classics.mit.edu/Aristotle/politics.1.one.html
Plutarch: Life of Aratus of Sicyon:
The city of Sicyon, as soon as it had fallen away from its pure Doric form of aristocracy (which was now like a harmony dissolved) and had become a prey to factions and the ambitious schemes of demagogues, was without cease distempered and agitated, and kept changing one tyrant for another.... Abantidas the son of Paseas, attempting to make himself tyrant, slew Cleinias, and, of the friends and kinsmen of Cleinias, banished some and killed others. He tried to kill also the son of Cleinias, Aratus, left fatherless at the age of seven. But in the confusion p7which prevailed about the house the boy made his escape with the fugitives, and wandering about in the city, full of fear and helpless, by chance got unnoticed into the house of a woman who was a sister of Abantidas, but had married Prophantus the brother of Cleinias. Her name was Soso. This woman, who was of a noble nature, and thought it a divine dispensation that the boy had taken refuge with her, hid him in the house, and at night sent him secretly off to Argos.
Time to hoist this again, and think about it some more, for the very sharp Neville Morley reports from 1600 Pylos & Sphacteria Avenue:
Neville Morley: 1600 Pylos & Sphacteria Avenue: "Here we are again, with a new article on ‘Why everyone in the White House is reading Thucydides’... https://thesphinxblog.com/2017/06/22/1600-pylos-sphacteria-avenue/
It looks to me as though I should admit (to myself at least) that I am unlikely to ever teach my course the "classical" Mediterranean economy. Thus it is time for me to move it to the Assignment Desk--things that I really wish other people work on.
Here is the skeleton of the reading list: things that I think must be on it.
**Hoisted from the Archives Notes: Polanyi: Aristotle Discovers the Economy http://www.j-bradford-delong.net/movable_type/2003_archives/001464.html: A whole bunch of this article is simply wrong: the claims that "in the fourth century... Greeks initiated the gainful business practices that in much later days developed into the dynamo of market comnpetition" are false. This means that Polanyi is wrong when he says that Aristotle is examining a new phenomenon when he looks at the economy. Aristotle is examining an old phenomenon from the point of view of an Athenian aristocrat.
But there is much of value in Polanyi's exposition of what Aristotle says...
Hoisted from Ten Years Ago: Still, I think, true today. Thus I continue to hoist my neoliberal freak flag here: Is It Really Harder to Make the Case for Free Trade These Days? http://delong.typepad.com/sdj/2007/04/is_it_really_ha.html: Paul Krugman wonders if it is harder to make the case for free trade these days. There are more losers from trade liberalization, he thinks, and it is much less clear that the losers are in some sense "undeserving".
June 13, 2017 at 09:03 AM in Economics: Growth, Economics: History, History, Moral Responsibility, Philosophy: Moral, Political Economy, Politics, Streams: (Tuesday) Hoisted from Archives, Streams: Cycle, Streams: Economics, Streams: Equitable Growth, Streams: Highlighted | Permalink | Comments (12)
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Ben Weiss, Curator of Rare Books at the Burndy Library of MIT's Dibner Institute for the History of Science and Technology:
Ben Weiss: Brad DeLong's Website: DeLong's Ignorance Corrected!: "First off, I love your blog, and read it avidly; many thanks for the wide learning and elegant argument... http://www.j-bradford-delong.net/movable_type/2005-3_archives/000643.html
Nine from Fritz Stern's Memoirs http://delong.typepad.com/sdj/2007/03/nine_from_fritz.html: Fritz Stern (2006), Five Germanys I Have Known (New York: FSG: 0374155402) http://amzn.to/2s6AuiG:
p. 101: Captain Hardinac von Hatten in 1933 on Fritz Stern's father, Rudolf Stern: "For [Rudolf Stern's] exemplary courage at the Somme and his commitment to duty, he was promoted to lieutenant of the reserve, and after the battle of Arras in the spring of 1917, I successfully recommended him for an Iron Cross, First Class. If every soldier of the German army had fulfilled his duty to the fatherland as loyally and courageously in the foremost position as Lieut. Stern did under my command in 1916-1917, we would have been spared the shame of the last fourteen years..."
An amazing con game Guenter Grass played for virtually his entire life: denouncing the western alliance for failing to grapple properly with Germany's unmasterable past, while at the same time doing all he could to hide and refuse to face his own membership in the criminal origination that was the Waffen-SS:
Hoisted from June 4, 2017: Guenter Grass Surfaces in the Pages of the New Yorker http://www.bradford-delong.com/2007/06/guenter_grass_s.html: Ah. Guenter Grass in the New Yorker this week:
Guenter Grass: What is less certain is when I exchanged my [Waffen SS 10th Division "Frundsberg"] uniform jacket for one less onerous...
Dead from Behind the Iron Curtain: Albert Glotzer: Stalin’s Place in History (1953): "Assessing the Social Role of the Great Assassin... https://www.marxists.org/history/etol/writers/glotzer/1953/05/stalin.htm
Leon Trotsky's Not-Entirely-Reliable-Narrator View of Lenin's New Economic Policy of the 1920s http://www.bradford-delong.com/2015/02/daily-economic-history-leon-trotskys-not-entirely-reliable-narrator-view-of-lenins-new-economic-policy-of-the-1920s.html: "With the bourgeois economists we no longer anything to quarrel over...
...Socialism has demonstrated its right to victory, not on the pages of Das Kapital, but in an industrial arena comprising a sixth part of the earths surface--not in the language of dialectics, but in the language of steel, cement and electricity. Even if the Soviet Union, as a result of internal difficulties, external blows and the mistakes of leadership, were to collapse--which we firmly hope will not happen--there would remain an earnest of the future this indestructible fact, that thanks solely to a proletarian revolution a backward country has achieved in less than 10 years successes unexampled in history.
Should-Read: Not just in hindsight! The point of my citing to George Kennan’s 1946 “Long Telegram”—published in 1947 in Foreign Affairs as “The Sources of Soviet Conduct”—was to stress that what you, Pseudoerasmus, whoever you are, call the retrospective assessment was Kennan’s prospective hope as well.
Kennan wanted containment, not rollback. Kennan wanted to move the conflict to the political economic-ideological level: which system better delivered on Enlightenment values of prosperity, security, freedom? He was confident that, if moving the conflict to that level could be accomplished, the U.S., the western alliance, liberal democratic capitalism would win if it deserved to win. And he was confident it deserved to win.
Curiously, N.S. Khrushchev—at least in his saner moments—wanted the same thing: he, too, sought to move the conflict to the political economic-ideological level: which system better delivered on Enlightenment values of prosperity, security, freedom? He was confident that, if moving the conflict to that level could be accomplished, Soviet communism would win if it deserved to win. And he was confident it deserved to win. “We will have to be the ones making your funeral arrangements…”
Khrushchev was wrong. But he was a believer…
Pseudoerasmus: The Cold War Triumph of Liberal Capitalism—in Hindsight https://medium.com/@pseudoerasmus/if-we-ask-the-retrospective-question-why-did-western-liberal-capitalism-actually-triumph-then-e025706801e0: "The tête-à-tête Soviet-American global struggle over the Third World...
"The retired monster" is Nikita Sergeyevitch Khrushchev. "Leonid Vitalevich" is Leonid Vitalevich Kantorovich. This is, I think, the heart of the ending:
When he awoke, beside the steady breathing of Nina Petrovna... out would come the other memories.... The groaning trees in the Western Ukraine in ‘45, when the NKVD hangmen had been at work, and the sight through an incautiously opened door in ‘37 where an interrogator had been demonstrating the possibilities of a simple steel ruler, and the starveling child vomiting grass during collectivisation. And more; and worse. So much blood, and only one justification for it... if it had been all prologue, all only the last spasms in the death of the old, cruel world, and the birth of the kind new one. But without the work it was so much harder to believe.... The garden came no closer, where the lion would lie down with the lamb and all could play at criticism after dinner, if they had a mind to.
He fumbled with the tape machine, and found the RECORD key his son had shown him. ‘Paradise’, he told the wheatfield in baffled fury, ‘is a place where people want to end up, not a place they run from. What kind of socialism is that? What kind of shit is that, when you have to keep people in chains? What kind of social order? What kind of paradise?’ He pressed STOP. Covered his mouth with his hand. And then, since he was tired of fear, of feeling it and of causing it, the retired monster sat very still on the bench by the field, and waited until Kava the rook hopped up onto his knee. A little wind came arrowing across the wheat and swayed the birches over his head. And the leaves of the trees said: can it be otherwise?
And here is the whole thing:
I do not believe that the very sharp Branko Milanovic ever studied George Kennan's "Long Telegram": his 8000-word message in 1946 back from Moscow, where he was then U.S. ambassador, to the State Department in Washington.
In Kennan's view, what was required was containment. And, indeed, containment was the keystone, indeed the whole arch, of U.S. policy from 1946 all the way up to 1989. Remember that really-existing socialism—Soviet communism—is attractive only to those who do not have to live under it. Remember to keep the competition on the economic, personal freedom, and ideological levels, using force only to preserve post-WWII boundaries and limits. Remember that we have the better system—in choosing leaders, in deciding on policies, in guiding economic growth. And if, when the competition is carried out on the economic, personal freedom, and ideological levels, it turns out that we do not have the better system? Then, as Kennan wrote:
The issue of Soviet-American relations is in essence a test of the overall worth of the United States... [which] need only measure up to its own best traditions.... Surely, there was never a fairer test of national quality than this.... The thoughtful observer... will find no cause for complaint in the Kremlin's challenge to American society...
Matthew Yglesias tweeted:
Matthew Yglesias: On Twitter: "It seems profoundly dysfunctional that the whole imperial court has to travel, lest some particular faction bend the king's ear. https://t.co/wb1X9G63mC" https://twitter.com/mattyglesias/status/865635638363660288
All I can say is: Matthew, I welcome you and I welcome the United States back to history.
After Piketty: The Agenda for Economics and Inequality http://amzn.to/2q0TevJ
Themes worth noting from the After Piketty CUNY launch event—that I missed, being on the wrong coast.
Matt O'Brien: Liberal democracy is not dead, but it's not well...
...From Hungary to Poland to even the United States, far-right populists have won power, and, in a few cases, are busy consolidating it. In some sense, it shouldn't be too surprising that the worst economic crisis since the 1930s has led to the worst political crisis within liberal democracies since the 1930s. At the same time, though, it's not as if right-wing nationalists are winning everywhere. Just in the last six months, they've come up short in Austria, the Netherlands and now France. So why is it that these abundant raw materials for a far right — stagnant incomes and increased immigration—haven't always turned into a far right that wins elections? I talked to Harvard's Daniel Ziblatt, whose new book Conservative Parties and the Birth of Democracy http://amzn.to/2qxQXeJ traces the history of how the center-right often determines whether democracy lives or dies, about what's behind our populist moment and just how close a parallel we're running to some of history's darkest episodes.
His answer: It depends.
(Early) Weekend Reading: Franz von Papen (June 17, 1934): Marburger Rede http://www.regin-verlag.de/index.php?id=4,82,0,0,1,0: "An unknown soldier of the World War, who conquered the hearts of his countrymen with contagious energy and unshakable faith...
...with his Field Marshal... has placed himself at the head of the nation... to turn a new page in the book of German destiny and to restore spiritual unity. We have experienced this unity of spirit in the exhilaration of a thousand rallies, flags, and celebrations of a nation that has rediscovered itself. But... a reform process of such historical proportions also produces slag... which... must be cleaned.... The function of the press should be to inform the government where deficiencies have crept in, where corruption has settled, where serious mistakes are being made, where unsuitable men are in the wrong positions, and where transgressions are committed against the spirit of the German revolution. An anonymous or secret news service, no matter how well organized, can never be a substitute for this responsibility of the press.... If other countries claim that freedom has died in Germany, then the openness of my remarks should instruct them that the German government can afford to allow a discussion of the burning questions of the nation....
People: David Autor, Brad DeLong, Ann Harrison, Eduardo Porter, Paul Krugman
Things we could have talked about:
We are, historically, both too late and too early for the Barrington Moore Project to make sense: both pre-Enlightenment freedoms and post mass-politics totalitarian dangers...
Weekend Reading/Hoisted (2010): The Barrington Moore Problematic and Its Discontents: John Stuart Mill was perhaps the last who was substantially at home in and competent in all the branches of moral philosophy.
Afterwards young scholars paying their dues found it impossible to learn everything and still have time to write anything.
April 15, 2017 at 05:45 PM in Berkeley, History, Long Form, Moral Responsibility, Philosophy: Moral, Political Economy, Politics, Streams: (BiWeekly) Honest Broker, Streams: (Tuesday) Hoisted from Archives, Streams: (Weekend) Reading, Streams: Cycle, Streams: Economics, Streams: Equitable Growth, Streams: Highlighted | Permalink | Comments (3)
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The key seems to me to build intelligent machines that will assist workers in labor-intensive industries, rather than build intelligent machines that will eliminate workers in capital-intensive industries. The first is a clear win. The second can be a major loss if the things made in capital-intensive industries are close enough substitutes for the products of labor-intensive industries to greatly drop their value.
But what I have to say so far is limited.
Weekend Reading: Barry Eichengreen and Bradford DeLong (2012): New preface to Charles Kindleberger, "The World in Depression 1929-1939": Charles Kindleberger’s classic book on the Great Depression was originally published 40 years ago. In the preface to a new edition, two leading economists argue that the lessons are as relevant as ever:
The parallels between Europe in the 1930s and Europe today are stark, striking, and increasingly frightening... http://voxeu.org/article/new-preface-charles-kindleberger-world-depression-1929-1939
Live from the Human Race Long-Term Planning Bureau: Milken Institute: Global Conference 2017: Globalization in the Crosshairs http://www.milkeninstitute.org/events/conferences/global-conference/2017/program-detail: "May 2: 2:00-3:30 PM: In the 20 years leading up to the financial crisis, international trade grew at twice the rate of global output...
Weekend Reading: Ta-Nehisi Coates (2012): Slavery Is a Love Song https://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2012/12/slavery-is-a-love-song/265808/: "A commenter sent me this piece from [David Post of the] The Volokh Conspiracy...
...responding to Paul Finkelman's op-ed on Thomas Jefferson. I made the mistake of reading it and thus stumbling on one the most immoral paragraphs I've read in a long long time:
Over at Finance and Development: Sluggish Future: You are reading this because of the long, steady decline in nominal and real interest rates on all kinds of safe investments, such as US Treasury securities. The decline has created a world in which, as economist Alvin Hansen put it when he saw a similar situation in 1938, we see “sick recoveries… die in their infancy and depressions… feed on themselves and leave a hard and seemingly immovable core of unemployment…” In other words, a world of secular stagnation. Harvard Professor Kenneth Rogoff thinks this is a passing phase—that nobody will talk about secular stagnation in nine years. Perhaps. But the balance of probabilities is the other way. Financial markets do not expect this problem to go away for at least a generation... Read MOAR at Finance and Development
Looking Forward to Four Years During Which Most if Not All of America's Potential for Human Progress Is Likely to Be Wasted
With each passing day Donald Trump looks more and more like Silvio Berlusconi: bunga-bunga governance, with a number of unlikely and unforeseen disasters and a major drag on the country--except in states where his policies are neutralized.
Nevertheless, remember: WE ARE WITH HER!
The purpose of this weblog is to be the best possible portal into what I am thinking, what I am reading, what I think about what I am reading, and what other smart people think about what I am reading...
"Bring expertise, bring a willingness to learn, bring good humor, bring a desire to improve the world—and also bring a low tolerance for lies and bullshit..." — Brad DeLong
"I have never subscribed to the notion that someone can unilaterally impose an obligation of confidentiality onto me simply by sending me an unsolicited letter—or an email..." — Patrick Nielsen Hayden
"I can safely say that I have learned more than I ever would have imagined doing this.... I also have a much better sense of how the public views what we do. Every economist should have to sell ideas to the public once in awhile and listen to what they say. There's a lot to learn..." — Mark Thoma
"Tone, engagement, cooperation, taking an interest in what others are saying, how the other commenters are reacting, the overall health of the conversation, and whether you're being a bore..." — Teresa Nielsen Hayden
"With the arrival of Web logging... my invisible college is paradise squared, for an academic at least. Plus, web logging is an excellent procrastination tool.... Plus, every legitimate economist who has worked in government has left swearing to do everything possible to raise the level of debate and to communicate with a mass audience.... Web logging is a promising way to do that..." — Brad DeLong
"Blogs are an outlet for unexpurgated, unreviewed, and occasionally unprofessional musings.... At Chicago, I found that some of my colleagues overestimated the time and effort I put into my blog—which led them to overestimate lost opportunities for scholarship. Other colleagues maintained that they never read blogs—and yet, without fail, they come into my office once every two weeks to talk about a post of mine..." — Daniel Drezner
"I now know it is a rising, not a setting, sun" --Benjamin Franklin, 1787
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